The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has charged queenmothers and mothers in general to rededicate themselves to their original role of educating and bringing up children to be upright citizens of society.
He said women played a crucial role in shaping the future of children, noting that the shirking of that responsibility could be disastrous to the nation.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said this at the first-ever durbar of queenmothers in the history of Asanteman in Kumasi yesterday.
It was organised in honour of the Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II.
The Asantehene bemoaned the lack of fellow-feeling, selfishness, absence of respect for the elderly, the spewing of outright lies, disregard for tradition, the growing crime rate and unpatriotic behaviour among Ghanaians and asked, “You gave birth to us and if you don’t bring us up properly, then what happens?”
The durbar, which saw the display of rich Asante custom and tradition, was dubbed, “Queenmothers’ Day and Traditional Food Fair”.
It formed part of activities marking the 15th anniversary of the enstoolment of the Asantehene.
The Asantehemaa was represented by the Mamponhemaa, Nana Agyakoma Difie.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu told the gathering, which included former President Jerry John Rawlings and the Chairperson of the Council of State, Mrs Cecilia Johnson, that although the behaviour of the current generation was getting out of hand, with determination they could be corrected.
He wondered why some Ghanaian children could not speak their mother tongue.
The Asantehene, who extolled the virtues of queenmothers and traced the pivotal and crucial roles women played in as containd in Asante history, said, “But for queenmothers, there will not be chiefs in the Asante Kingdom.”
He cited his personal experience of constantly consulting the Asantehemaa on many issues and also took wise counsel from her and urged chiefs to respect their queenmothers.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu took exception to the scornful manner in which some chiefs had been treating their queenmothers, to the extent that they did not care, even in the abundance of royalties, when such queenmothers were hungry.
“Some chiefs, after selling land, refuse to give their queenmothers their fair share,” he stated, and gave an assurance that to correct such unfortunate situations, he had ordered the Mamponghene to ensure that queenmothers in the kingdom got their fair share of all royalties.
A former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, who was the guest speaker, spoke on the theme, “Preserving Our Heritage: the Role of a modern queenmother in a developing world”.
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